Instagram is making it easier for you to connect and have conversations with your friends on its platform, just by showing you when they’re available to chat.
Instagram wants its users to chat and interact with each other more often, and it’s hoping they will be encouraged by showing them when their friends are online. Announced late last week – a new green dot next to someone’s profile picture – will act as an indication that they are online. Of course, it won’t signify whether someone is willing to respond to you at that time or not.
The new status indicator dot will appear in various spaces within the app, including the Direct inbox and your friend list when you share a post from the feed. In its announcement of the new feature, Instagram explained that you will only see the status of friends who follow you, or others who you’ve talked to previously in Direct.
If you find the status creepy, you can always hide yours and turn off the ability to see when friends are active. Sure, it’s easier to chat when you know that someone is online and “there to see it.” and the update certainly “gives you the ability to have more” real-time conversations, but it’s great also to have the control to hide your status as well.
You can find out more about the feature in the Instagram Help Center.